MoH warns of risks of contracting MERS-CoV from camels

Updated 14 September 2014

MoH warns of risks of contracting MERS-CoV from camels

The Ministry of Health issued an advisory on Saturday reminding the public to be cautious when dealing with camels because of the risk of contracting MERS Coronavirus.
The advisory comes as part of the ministry’s awareness campaign of the deadly virus ahead of the Haj pilgrimage when millions of people converge on the Kingdom from every part of the world.
Health Ministry spokesman Khalid Al-Mirghalani told Arab News on Saturday that recent studies have shown that MERS-CoV can be found in the mucus and saliva of infected camels, and research conducted by Saudi scientists has indicated that camels play a role in the transmission of this virus to humans.
“Strict implementation of standard infection control measures have led to a dramatic fall in the number of health care-associated infections,” he said, pointing out that sporadic cases are expected to continue to occur due to exposure to secretions from infected camels in the absence of mask, gloves or protective clothing.
He urged the public to abide by the Health Ministry’s directives about taking proper precautionary measures to guard against the coronavirus. “Besides the risk to the individual, the health of others including family members and health care workers can also be compromised,” he noted.
Since June 2012, there have been 729 cases of MERS in the Kingdom including 302 deaths. During this period, a total of 399 people recovered from the illness. Since Monday, there has been no new case of the virus while some 28 patients are currently being treated in hospitals across the country.
Labor Minister Adel Fakeih, who took over as acting health minister recently, adopted several preventive measures to control the spread of the virus. Besides launching a nationwide awareness campaign in Jeddah early this month, he has also appointed competent officials to combat the disease.
The awareness campaign was launched in cooperation with the World Health Organization "to empower the public with crucial up-to-date information required for combating the virus."


King Salman receives closing statement of the Science Group Summit

Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, right, receives the closing statement of the S20 group from its chair Dr. Anas bin Faris Al-Fares. (SPA)
Updated 29 September 2020

King Salman receives closing statement of the Science Group Summit

  • The closing statement of the meeting included 10 recommendations, which will be submitted to the G20 heads of state

On behalf of King Salman, Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday received the closing statement of the Science Group Summit (S20) from the group’s chair, Dr. Anas bin Faris Al-Fares, who is also the president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology, after a virtual meeting.
Several scientific organizations from the G20 countries took part in the meeting, which was hosted by Saudi Arabia. The S20 group focuses on future health, a circular economy and the digital revolution. The meeting stressed the importance of making decisions based on scientific facts supported by data.
The closing statement of the meeting included 10 recommendations, which will be submitted to the G20 heads of state. More than 180 scholars participated in drafting the recommendation. They called for increasing the level of preparedness in the wake of a pandemic. They also recommended consolidating advanced treatment and precision medical research with a particular focus on keeping the costs affordable and treatments accessible to all.
The group also stressed the need to devise policies to face challenges arising from demographic shifts. One of the recommendations includes development of an integrated approach to the extraction of natural resources.
They also urged the relevant authorities to consolidate recycling systems to curb carbon emissions.